74

On the day of the Catalonian independence referendum, there were plenty of reports about Madrid's efforts to prevent the referendum from taking place, including large number of police shooting rubber bullets at voters and blocking entry to polling stations.

Madrid, on the other hand, has declared earlier that the referendum is unconstitutional and thus invalid.

Why would Madrid be so insistent on preventing the referendum from taking place, with the clear possibility of open conflict resulting from this, as opposed to simply declaring up front any outcome null and void because the Catalonian government lacks legal authority in the subject matter? If the Catalonian government still wants to spend money on a referendum which has no legal power, why is this such a big problem for the central government in Madrid?

Note that this question is about the referendum itself, not about Catalonian independence per se.

  • 4
    @immibis But they can't (and didn't) stop the vote. Now they have a double negative outcome - a "yes" vote and a tarnished image because of how severely they cracked down on their citizens. – JBentley Oct 2 '17 at 23:08
  • 1
    @JBentley I did say "want". As a general rule, people with power don't like when other people attempt to take it away. – user253751 Oct 2 '17 at 23:11
  • 2
    I am actually surprised nobody mentions the Mordaza law of censoring facebook/Internet posts with fines, or the regular public beatings of any kind of public demonstrations against the monarchy. Spain stopped being a regular democracy long ago. – Rui F Ribeiro Oct 3 '17 at 2:32
  • 3
    @roetnig It is common to use the name of a capital city to refer to a country's government. The media for example do this all the time. The context makes the meaning clear. – JBentley Oct 3 '17 at 11:34
  • 2
    Highly generic point, however governments of all persuasions have tended to demonstrate that once you're in power preserving the status quo is a top priority. The referendum threatens the status quo, and as such it follows that any Spanish government is likely to strongly oppose it. – aroth Oct 3 '17 at 13:29
59

By way of establishing some context, it's worth noting that this isn't just a squabble over which government has the authority to hold a referendum in Catalonia. The Madrid government's position is that not even it can grant independence, because the constitution directly prohibits it. Moreover, to amend the relevant article of the constitution would require super-majorities in both houses of parliament and a national referendum.

Why would Madrid be so insistent on preventing the referendum from taking place, with the clear possibility of open conflict resulting from this, as opposed to simply declaring up front any outcome null and void because the Catalonian government lacks legal authority in the subject matter?

There are a number of possible reasons, and only a very few politicians could tell you the rough weighting they have given to each, but among the relevant factors are:

  • Whatever votes people manage to cast will be overwhelming in favour of independence because the pro-independence parties have been campaigning for people to go out and vote, and the anti-independence parties have been campaigning for people to stay at home. They can't claim that the referendum is illegal and illegitimate and at the same time ask people to vote. The legal argument that the ballot is invalid may be unassailable, but the political argument gets harder the more votes are counted.
  • One of the prime functions of a government is to maintain the rule of law. To sit back and allow people to openly defy the highest court in the country when they have pre-notification of the date and method of their defiance would be a tremendous sign of weakness.
  • Catalonia isn't the only region of Spain with an independence movement. Showing weakness before one would weaken the government in the face of Basque (and to a lesser extent Galician) separatism. Basque public opinion is particularly relevant because the minority government relies on a confidence-and-supply arrangement with one Basque party.
  • The Catalan government spending public money illegally affects the whole country. Right at the moment the government is in negotiations to pass the budget, and the distribution of money between the autonomous regions has been one of the issues of conflict between Barcelona and Madrid over the past few years.
  • It is probably fair to say that cracking down is according to the instincts of the governing party and plays well with their voters.
  • 9
    Additionally, while the current situation might be seen to less desirable than other alternatives to Spain as a whole, it serves the governing party of Spain pretty well; no negotiation with independentists, police repression, conflict in the streets, etc.. A "Us or chaos" message that will probably sound like music to their electorate in the rest of Spain (to which the independentists are just "the bad guys"). – SJuan76 Oct 1 '17 at 13:40
  • 4
    In regard to the 1st point, Puigdemont has declared that in case of a "Yes" victory, he would declare independence regardless of participation(Spanish). Allowing a "normal" vote could give Puigdemont an opportunity to say that he is just "obeying the results" (while ignoring participation issues and that the tallying of the ballots is completely in Puigdemont's hands) and that the people wants independence, Regardless of legality, that would be an important addition to the independists "lore". – SJuan76 Oct 1 '17 at 14:01
  • 1
    You might want to double-check the sources you use since that one in particular is well-known for releasing intentionally biased fake news. – b-fg Oct 1 '17 at 14:18
  • 1
  • 2
    "The Catalan government spending public money illegally affects the whole country" has not been claimed as a reason. In fact, the central state spends more to stop the referendum than the Catalan government to organize it. The illegal spending issue arises in criminal law context because illegal spending implies imprisonment sentences. – Pere Oct 1 '17 at 20:25
32

The thing is: It does not matter what a government or a law says or pretend to say. If you look at the history, an absolute minority of independencies were "allowed" or "negotiated" between the parties (Czech Republic and Slovakia a rare instance), most are results of violent conflicts (Abkhazia, Ex-Yugoslavia, Crimea) or triggered a wave of violence (India/Pakistan).

If a majority of people want to separate in a region, the only real option to suppress it is force and suppression. Madrid has the legitimate fear that once the majority of Catalans understand that Spain cannot hold them, separation will occur. The referendum is very dangerous for Madrid, because the higher the approval, the more confident the separatists and the better their position for bargains if Spain offers something to hold Catalonia in Spain.

Let's say the referendum happens and it is fair, Madrid says that it does not accept it.

  1. The turnout is low (40%) and the approval is 35%. The separatists' filter bubble pops. Their impression that most Catalans want independence seems to be an illusion and Madrid is happy.

  2. The turnout is high (70%) and the approval is 55%. While having the majority, the separatists must admit that there are still many people not convinced that Catalonia should be independent.

  3. The turnout is very high (80-90%) and the approval is over 90%. It is now clear that even the more silent people are overwhelmingly pro separation. This in turn means that everyone gets self-confident and proud and are now seriously considering the option. This also means that as like so many separations before people begin to say: "Say what? EU and Spain, if you don't like it, tough luck. We do it anyway".

Their reaction means that Spain secretly fears that 3. is the most likely scenario and allowing a referendum would perhaps give the Catalans such a boost of self-affirmation that Madrid's decision to ignore the vote is worthless/won't be accepted.

You must also look at the history. The rivalry between Spain and Catalonia is not new, it was already mentioned by my Spanish teacher over 20 years ago. Spain was a dictatorship under Franco and it experienced a long battle with the Basque wish for independence and the terror by ETA. While Spain looks that it finally succeed to suppress ETA, Catalonia is a complete other story. Madrid fears that even if it tries it, it cannot stop Catalonia from getting independent.

ADDITION: What we now have is the worst of the two worlds: A very high support, but low voter turnout. The first means that the separatists feel affirmed, the second means that Madrid feels compelled to ignore the result because it is not representative. The situation will now only get more tension.

@Campfire: The situation can be often quite easily defused: Convince the people that separation has more disadvantages than advantages. People are in the majority conservative and do not like sudden and dramatic changes. Point out what disadvantages a separation has and people begin to think about it (fear, uncertainty and doubt, but misinformation is not even necessary). It is also quite a good strategy to ask specifically how the people in charge plan the independency; often they do not have even plans, but only a nebulous, emotionally charged vision. This can backfire if there are more advantages or if the people in charge did have convincing plans how to organize independency.

What does not work is boycotting a referendum, it is never a good idea to let other people decide, especially if they have the opposite opinion. Sorry, non-voters, your silence was dumb because you were the only one who could change the public perception how many people actually want separation. Force has also the exact opposite mental effect: If you and I are together in a room and you want to leave and I block your path and say "You are staying here", is your first reaction "Oh, good idea, I will stay here" or "WTF? Get out of my way NOW"? In fact aggressive behavior will only increase the inclination of leaving.

This makes aggression so vicious: You cannot use a little bit force to prevent segregation because it triggers exactly the opposite reaction. You need to show so much force that people are afraid, meaning escalation. As I said, most segregation (attempts) were violent for exactly this reason.

  • 21
    You seem to have missed a few options. The actual turnout was low (42.3%) but the approval was high (90%) (source). Which makes some sense. The people most easily suppressed would be those who want to stay. Those who voted anyway were the most separatist. – Brythan Oct 2 '17 at 7:46
  • 1
    Is the use of force and suppression really the only way? Talking to the separatists leaders and figure out why they want to separate is no solution? I think that the country should serve its people and when people want to leave this country as a unit, there's definitely something wrong with the country and not with the people. – Campfire Oct 2 '17 at 9:34
  • Note on your addition: this makes it even worse for the central government, because it will be easy to accuse them of directly causing the low turnout. – JBentley Oct 3 '17 at 11:38
  • I removed quite a lot of comments. Please try to avoid lengthy discussions in comments. – Philipp Oct 4 '17 at 15:28
5

I've got to agree with the voters on the question: it is a good question why the Spanish government is doing this.

It might be interesting to consider the Rational Choice Theory. Let's assume that the outcome was intended by Rajoy and the PP. Why? What do they have to gain? The RC answer is that they considered all their actions, and chose the one with had the most favourable outcome.

It can hardly be a surprise that this repressive action did not have the "intended" effect of stopping the independence movement. In fact, it's so obvious anti-productive that you can't seriously assume that was the real intent. That would be assuming Rajoy would be naïve, which is not the sort of personality that becomes a prime minister.

Can we construct a narrative in which this repression attempt makes sense? Well, it turns out there is at least one possible explanation. Rajoy might have calculated that Catalan independence is unavoidable regardless of his actions. In this hypothesis, his Rational Choice concern is likely how he'll be judged by the voters in the post-secession Spain. He knows they won't be happy with the secession (but in this scenario that secession is a given). His challenge is not to be blamed for it, and this line of repression seems to be liked well by the non-Catalan voters.

Now, note that Rational Choice is anything but infallible. The obvious flaw it assumes rational actors, while we know that people (leaders included) are irrational under stress. And Rajoy is certainly stressed - losing a significant part of your country guarantees you a place in the history books, but not the one you strive for.

The second flaw is that RC allows you to analyse narratives, to see if behaviour can be explained as a rational response using assumed goals. It does not, and can not guarantee that the explained behaviour is actually caused by the assumed goals. It however is a scientific theory, as it allows you to make further predictions on the basis of unchanged assumed goals. In concrete terms: the explanation above leads to a prediction that Rajoy's further actions will give precedence to PP's continued power in Spain, at the expense of allowing the Catalonian independence movement to grow.

  • "It can hardly be a surprise that this repressive action did not have the "intended" effect of stopping the independence movement." But it did, didn't it? The results of the broken referendum have largely been ignored and the independence movement is kind of stalled so far. My guess is that the PP really wanted to stop the independence movement. That makes the most immediate sense to me. – Trilarion Feb 16 '18 at 9:57
5

Madrid, on the other hand, has declared earlier that the referendum is unconstitutional and thus invalid.

The referendum was declared illegal by the Judges of the Constitutional Tribunal. Not only the referendum but also bad practices of the whole government of Catalonia.

The Spanish government had to do their duty and try to prevent these illegal actions. Furthermore the referendum costs are to be payed with Spanish public money. Also the schools where they wanted to vote are public. To uphold the rule of law you can't allow people to break the law, even less so in public buildings.

If the Catalonian government still wants to spend money on a referendum which has no legal power, why is this such a big problem for the central government in Madrid?

The Catalonian money is Spanish money, because they are still part of Spain.

There are many reasons why the police have to be there to enforce the law, even more if you take into account that the regional police, the Mossos d'esquadra, were not doing their job properly. Having said this, I can assure that the police shouldn't have acted so violently, they shouldn't have shot rubber bullets and they shouldn't have treated people with such rudeness. This behaviour from the police was predicted by the Catalan government, so they encouraged people of all ages to go to the schools, to make it easy to create awful images of old people, children and families being treated badly.

As you can see on this link, Catalan pro-independence institutions published 9 rules to vote last Sunday, knowing that the police will be in every school as it was stated by the Spanish government. Right now they edited this report changing rule #6 but yesterday this rule stated that people will have to go to school in the larger number as possible with people of every age. This statements translated are:

  1. Promote activities on the schools this Saturday and if you can, stay overnight.
  2. If there's somebody that can't be sooner, it is essential to be in your correspondent school before 5:00
  3. Everyone has to go to their correspondent electoral school.
  4. It can't be, in any case, voting points outside enabled places.
  5. In case your school is closed it is needed for everybody to group up in front of the door until someone comes to open.
  6. In case of police presence we will only act from the pacific resistance. The school will have to be clean of posters and remaining of the activities done.
  7. It will have to be a neutral voting place. Sunday wouldn't have to be any activity.
  8. Once the electoral administration arrives, it will take charge of the school. At 9:00 the referendum will start and it will have to be guaranteed that it will be always people in the school throughout the day to defend it peaceable.
  9. From 8:00 and throughout the day it will be given official instructions.

At the end of the day the independence parties declared that the voting was a success despite the violence and the low numbers of people voting. That was because they ended as the victims and their tale of oppression and good vs evil will live on.

Yesterday people were used, and treated rudely. An awful day.

PS: Excuse me for the Spanish links but it is where you can find more detailed info about what's happening.

  • 9
    It doesn't really matter what the Spanish law says. The EU recognizes the freedom of speech, and the freedom of political organization. And it very much makes clear that those rights cannot be violated by member countries. The question at this point should be whether Catalonia should be admitted into the EU, but whether Spain still can be a member. The use of force against peaceful political assembly may have been common in Franco's time, but cannot be tolerated in the civilized world. – MSalters Oct 2 '17 at 13:30
  • 3
    @PeterTaylor: While the US definition is very wide, the ECHR also applies "freedom of speech" in a broad sense. E.g. "Piermont v. France" where participation in a (political) demonstration was considered protected speech, "Incal v Turkey" (distribution of leaflets), "Arslan v Turkey" ("propaganda violating integrity of the State", see also "Erdoğdu and Ince v. Turkey", and about a dozen similar cases). Especially the Turkish ECHR cases make clear that Spain cannot use a similar "integrity of the state" argument no matter what their constitution says. – MSalters Oct 2 '17 at 14:24
  • 3
    @YoMismo: Fair point, but in no way a justification for police action, let alone widespread police violence. A proper response would have been to note the opinions voiced (which is a right in a democracy) and then observe that the opinions are held by a minority (in Spain). Like the recent democratic struggles in Poland, this is a clear reminder to the EU that democracy and peaceful politics is new to quite a few member States. Especially the PP would be wise to avoid recalling the memories of Franco. – MSalters Oct 2 '17 at 14:38
  • 10
    @JoseAntonioDuraOlmos I think you are still underestimating the severity of the situation. AFAIK the USA did not ask politely the High Court or the King/parliament if they could leave the British Empire. If it would have failed, a footnote of history would mention that a George Washington was executed for high treason. If there is a legal and peaceful way for separation, wonderful, but I think you are misguided if you think Catalonia believes that it needs the majority of Spanish votes to separate. – Thorsten S. Oct 2 '17 at 14:39
  • 4
    @MSalters freedom of speech and freedom political organization is why Junts Pel Si exists. But freedom has limits. Freedom of speech ends when the speech is beligerant and attempts against other people rights. Freedom political organization stops when that organization, goes against the rule of law and other people's rights. – umbium Oct 2 '17 at 15:41
3

While the other answers (and rant) give some insight into probable reasons and feelings arousing on the topic, I think that the main reason is missing.

The Catalonian Government (Generalitat) knows that for now they have almost no options to legally claim indepence -or get the financial rights of the Basque Country & Navarra, I'm not really sure about their original intentions- nor get the majoritary parties in the Spanish Parliament to modify the constitution in order to make the referendum legal. Even the socialists (PSOE), who want to change the territorial model of Spain, don't agree on the referendum. While we will probably see changes in the territorial model, it will take at least several years until Spain gets fully federal.

The only way to exercise pressure on the Spanish Government is gathering international support and attention.

They already made in 2014 an illegal, non binding referendum -with a similar turnout and results as in this one- during which the Spanish Government didn't react at all besides fining some politicians. Mariano Rajoy didn't even call the Generalitat to discuss their financial claims after it. An illegal, non binding referendum didn't work, so what is the next step? Escalation. An illegal binding referendum. Even if not recognized by any law or country, the headline "Independent Catalonia" would get more attention than the last one and would force the Spanish Governement to discuss with the Generalitat.

Here comes into play the reaction of the Spanish Goverment. How do you lessen the impact of such a referendum, so it is not only illegal but also looks illegitimate in the eyes of international observers? Make the votation itself look invalid for outsiders. For that you need

  • Small participation
  • No guarantees (no urns, no international observers, no other institutions involved besides the organizing one, voting holds place outside of buildings)

Furthermore, the Spanish Government couldn't allow for a second referendum which openly defies the existing law to happen without intervention.

The most radical solution, suspending Catalonias autonomy, is truly a Pandora's box which neither PP (governing party) nor PSOE wants to open.

The task of the Spanish police has never been to stop people from voting by force, shooting elderly people or similar stuff you read in both tabloids and some allegedly serious media. Their aim were the polling stations and urns. Closed polling stations mean less votes and no urns means no election. Closing the polling station where the Catalan President has to vote means no photo of Puigdemont voting (if they don't change the rules so anyone can vote anywhere, like they did one hour before the referendum started).

A referendum with 15% votes, no urns and no photos of politicians voting couldn't be used by the Generalitat to put pressure on the Spanish Government. If the police had closed the polling stations, the violent ones would be the people trying to enter. This would legitimate the Spanish Government even more.

The Mossos (Catalonian police under the orders of the Generalitat, only temporarely and since some weeks coordinated by the Spanish Government) should have closed all polling stations at 6a.m. (only a very small amount had been occupied the days/night before). The Guardia Civil (GC) and Policia Nacional (CPN) would only have to help them were needed.

Almost all Mossos didn't perform their duties, so that the GC and CPN were left with the task of closing polling stations, meanwhile filled with people, and requising urns. Pushed by their political officers the police "just did their job", which sometimes means using force to stop people from "obstructing justice". Obviously, no one gave the urns away without "pacific resistance". The results are what everyone has seen.

While the protests itself and police actuation were far less violent than similar ones since the 15-M (beginning of a new political movement in Spain, 2011), using "riots" police and expecting no people hurt nor cover photos for the international press has backfired horribly.

Next steps? I think Mariano Rajoy won't do anything, so Puigdemont will have to declare independence. Not even the previous Catalan President, Artur Mas, believes the voting of 43% of the population is enough to legitimate the secession, but now they have images to show how they're being "repressed" by the Central Government.

0

There was a good move available for the Spanish government here, but they put much weight on the legalistic arguments as detailed in Peter Taylor's answer, they failed to appreciate the problems mentioned in Thorsten S.' answer. At the end of the day in free democratic countries, the constitution, the laws, the ruling by the courts etc., are not worth much if the consensus that these must be enforced, falls apart. The constitution cannot defend itself, it provides the government with very limited powers to make sure it can be upheld while still remaining in force. A mass revolt against the rule of the government can only be suppressed by suspending the constitution.

A possible reason why the government didn't take the possibility of the collapse of the rule of law in Catalonia serious, may be the some opinion poll results showing less than 50% support for independence. That may have caused the government to underestimated the strength of the pro-independence movement.

If you don't think there is a serious problem to fix, you're not going to bother opening discussions on reforming the constitution to make room for referendums for independence. So, on balance, the assessment could have been that this would not solve problems but instead create new problems in the future if some region does gain independence via such a referendum. Also, this would have been a long term undertaking, which means that the voters would have had a say in this and in the whole of Spain, there is little popular support for this.

Now, suppose that the Spanish government had gotten a better assessment of the strength of the pro-independence movement, then they could have opened discussions about allowing a referendum to go forward. They could then have bargained with offering their approval against asking the Catalan authorities to meet a higher burden for gaining independence. There is a good argument to be made for 2/3 majority instead of a simple majority. As mentioned above about the collapse of the rule of law when the consensus for it collapses, this is a relevant factor also for Catalonia. If they gain independence with just over 50% of the votes, they'll have a very large minority who want to remain loyal to Spain. Especially if Spain doesn't agree with this referendum, Catalonia will have problems with upholding their own laws.

For Spain, allowing independence when 2/3 of the local population want that, also has advantages. Spain only needs a third of the local population to want to remain in Spain, that's a pretty low standard to meet. It's then not that difficult to see support for remaining in Spain gradually waning for quite some time before it sinks to below 1/3, allowing for Spain to engage more with the region to turn the tide. But if that attempt would be unsuccessful, then it's not all that hard to accept that you can't keep control of a region where there is so little support for remaining in Spain.

  • 1
    I think this is thoughtful and mainly correct, and it would be an excellent answer to a question about why the government didn't support a referendum. That said, I don't see how it addresses this question. – Peter Taylor Oct 5 '17 at 9:44
-7

On the day of the Catalonian independence referendum, there were plenty of reports about Madrid's efforts to prevent the referendum from taking place, including large number of police shooting rubber bullets at voters and blocking entry to polling stations.

"Madrid" had no efforts in preventing "the referendum" it was the police, following JUDGE orders who prevented an illegal act.

You may say voting is not illegal, but it is when not everybody can vote. Democracy which is a word the Catalan independence people have abused is by definition (at least Wikipedia's definition):

"Democracy (Greek: δημοκρατία, dēmokratía literally "rule of the people"), in modern usage, is a system of government in which the citizens exercise power directly or elect representatives from among themselves to form a governing body, such as a parliament."

If A FEW citizens try to vote not allowing THE MAJORITY of the citizens (the rest of the country) to vote, then that is not democracy that is imposing what a few people want to the rest of the citizens.

According to Wikipedia, Democracy is sometimes referred to as "rule of the majority"., not this case obviously.

I guess you haven't seen the Catalan police (mossos) shooting rubber bullets to people peacefully gathering in the 15M mass meeting where a woman lost her eye because of a rubber bullet. In that case there weren't judge orders and an illegal act. The police were ordered to dissolve the meeting but not by a judge in this case. You can search for those but here you have a link. Funny to see that same "police" officials go near the voting stations asking politely to the people if they wanted to leave, and after a negative answer just withdrawing.

Madrid, on the other hand, has declared earlier that the referendum is unconstitutional and thus invalid.

You seem to have some kind of obsession with Madrid, but again it wasn't Madrid, it wasn't even the rest of the country, it was a JUDGE implementing THE LAW.

Why would Madrid be so insistent on preventing the referendum from taking place, with the clear possibility of open conflict resulting from this, as opposed to simply declaring up front any outcome null and void because the Catalonian government lacks legal authority in the subject matter? If the Catalonian government still wants to spend money on a referendum which has no legal power, why is this such a big problem for the central government in Madrid?

Let me again rectify you, It is not Madrid, not even the rest of the country, it is THE LAW and a JUDGE's sentence. If a mass of people is committing a crime should the police allow that just to avoid an open conflict? If the mob has taken a city should the police "avoid" open conflict?

Spending money by a government in something illegal may not be a problem for you, but it might be for the people that didn't vote that government (more than half of the votes of the Catalan parliament) and which money is not being spent in education or medical care.

And last but not least, most people will defend the right of a few to vote to leave, but if the referendum takes place and the majority of the Catalans vote to stay (which according to polls is what might come out)... SHOULDN'T WE THE REST OF THE COUNTRY DECIDE IF WE WANT THEM TO STAY? Because I'm soooooo tired of all this that I want them out, they've always been trouble and they will always be so they are better off alone.

The funny thing about this is that they want to be part of the EU, and have two passports, Spanish and Catalan. And they want the Spanish people to keep paying their pensions when they leave. Who with a minimum of reason would want that people be part of a UNION???????

  • 3
    Why would you restrict voting on Catalonian independence to only Spanish citizens? If you're arguing that Spanish voters should have a voice, then why not EU citizens? Seeing as there's no election for the UN, it's clear that every democratic election is restricted to a (very small) subset of all people. The scope can be as large as India, or as small as a village mayor, but it's always limited. And since the question here is whether Catalonia is a viable entity, with a Catalonian population, asking the Spanish makes no sense. – MSalters Oct 2 '17 at 22:03
  • 3
    As for the judge (court) striking down the referendum: the judges didn't do so by their own volition, Rajoy asked them to. – MSalters Oct 2 '17 at 22:08
  • 7
    This honestly reads to me more like a rant on the question than an actual answer. There might be parts of an answer buried in here, but they are completely overshadowed by your meta-commentary and your bringing up different issues. I can tell that this is a subject matter you feel passionate about, and that's fine; however, please focus on actually answering the question. If you want to discuss other actions by officers of government (including e.g. police officers or judges), then either e.g. start a blog, or post a question that is legitimately answered by the above and self-answer it. – a CVn Oct 3 '17 at 7:38
  • 3
    I'm flagging this for moderator attention. It gets somewhat abusive toward the asker, and then in the last section -- and especially last paragraph -- just gets abusive toward the Catalan people. That isn't appropriate for this site. I agree with Michael this primarily a rant. – doppelgreener Oct 4 '17 at 12:30
  • 1
    @doppelgreener I handled your flag and while this answer is certainly not a good one and might deserve a community-deletion for low quality, it does not pass the threshold of being so "rude or abusive" that it requires mod intervention. – Philipp Oct 4 '17 at 15:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .